The UK spent most of 2006 to 2010 increasing competition and unbundling connections, so that companies like Sky and TalkTalk could then bundle consumers into double and triple-play solutions. This decision to focus on competition and not development of new technologies are perhaps at the core of why the FTTH Council is stating the UK is behind Europe on the implementation of FTTH.
Anyone who has attended various Digital Britain seminars will know there is an atmosphere, of 'please lets talk about the technology specifics' far too often the detail is avoided and thus we end up where we are with a solution being deployed around the UK that makes economic sense if you want to spend the minimal amount of money now.
All is not lost though as the UK does have Virgin Media providing speeds that match FTTH if you are willing to subscribe to the fastest product, and the local node is not congested. Then there are people like Hyperoptic, IFNL and CityFibre, though we are still unsure how many of the 25,000 homes in Bournemouth actually have internet access over the fibre network there since the first 30 connections were announced three years ago. Openreach is doing some FTTP, though exact figures are not known, perhaps 10 to 15% of UK homes, and has started looking at fibre-only exchanges.
Ambition has never figured heavily in UK Broadband, we get a spark every few years, but then the bean counters water things down. A big unanswered question, is whether services abroad are actually that much better in the real world, rather than what speakers at conferences say.